Monday, December 25, 2006

The cost of addiction - an "only in Israel" post

Mrs G and I have recently fallen for the charms of President Bartlett, CJ, Toby Ziegler, Josh Lyman and Leo McGarry and have been making our way through, season by season. I've actually learned a little about American politics from their antics but generally end up admiring them for being very clever and witty. The DVD store next to our local supermarket (about which I have a post in progress) has most of the episodes so once or twice a week we'll drop off one disk and pick up the next. Missing episodes we pick up from a second store in the same chain which is pretty close to my office.

It was almost inevitable that with 2 stores in the picture and Mrs G picking up whilst I returned (or vice versa) our nightly viewing, that at some point a DVD would go back to the wrong place. In any normal country, you'd expect that a store receiving a DVD clearly marked as from another store in it's quick drop would call the other store to report that yet another dumbass customer has got confused, the first store would call the customer and that would be the end of it - right?

Wrong. In fact what happens is that the receiving store puts the DVD to one side without telling anyone. 3 weeks down the line, a computer automatically generates a "Friendly reminder" postcard which is mailed to the customer informing him that the disk is overdue. The customer then has to make several phonecalls to ascertain the location of the disk, go to pick it up from one store, take it to the next store to be told that he has to speak to the manager who will only be in next day, come back the next day to find that not only is the manager not in at 11:00 as he was promised but that the shop only opens at 12:00 because it's Xmas but that the manager wasn't needed in any case to cancel part of the charge, leaving a smaller sum but still more than it would have been if the first shop had called through straight away.

Breathless pause.....

Now I'm supposed to shake my head and say "only in Israel" except I'm not in Israel, I'm in America where the service culture is supposed to be so wonderful. So the moral of the story is that these tiny services screw ups occur all over the place and that so far I've been disappointed my American banks, cellphone companies, the licensing authority and now video stores. Just as when I was a new arrival in Israel I find that the appropriate response is to vent to no-one in particular, smile and get on with it.



Edward Francisco Villa said...


I hope you enjoy this....

Be well, and G-d bless you and your people , Yisroel mightily and with *everlasting Shalom....

G-d bless you and keep you always,

Edward Francisco Villa

Anonymous said...

isn't it great???

Toby Ziegler is great!
speak to you asap
and may we get back home soon.

a fellow 'uninspired'